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Thursday, December 4, 2014


James Bond and Claudine 'boob-a-licious' Auger in Thunderball

All airports have airport codes. Anyone who has traveled by air in the USA is probably familiar with some of the big ones like Atlanta (ATL), Chicago (ORD), LA (does anyone even say Los Angeles anymore?) (LAX), Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) and Portland (PDX). Okay, not everyone knows PDX, I just threw that in there because I go there ten times a year. Even no account little podunk airports like Hillsboro (HIO, my neighborhood airport) and Pinal Airpark (MJZ), just North of Tuscon, have codes.

Pinal Airpark, Marana Arizona. Notice that you can see the entire 6,000 foot long runway AND you can count the airliners. Flippin' airliners are big.

    Iaman paid a visit to MJZ this week and saw a bunch of airliners parked there. Last year when Boeing's Dreamliner was grounded a bunch of them ended up here. Seems that since Boeing went to so much trouble to set up their international assembly line to build these planes, they were loath to shut it down just because the FAA says they weren't allowed to fly them. Well, they could fly them, they just weren't allowed to carry any passengers. I mean how else were they going to get them from their final assembly plant in Everett (just north of Seattle), Washington to Tuscon, which is where MJZ is?
    MJZ is currently the largest boneyard for civilian aircraft. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is just down the road and it dwarfs Pinal by a factor of, oh, I dunno, a zillion to one or so. Typical Americans. Whine about having to pay an extra $50 for airfare but willingly fork over thousands of dollars every year so the Air Force's flyboys can go for joyrides anytime they want in their supersonic hotrods. That's democracy in action for you, although I fail to see how this aspect is any different than communism. Never mind, that's all beside the point. I'll try to stay on track here.
    There is another civilian boneyard in Roswell, New Mexico. They store old airlines, but they are also strong in the scrap metal business.

Pinal Airpark got it's start in WW2 training pilots for the military as part of the "50,000 pilot training program". During the Vietnam war it was home to the CIA's Intermountain Airlines. Intermountain eventually became part of Evergreen Aviation, based in McMinnville, Oregon (just down the road from here), which is where the Spruce Goose ended up.

     Robert Fulton started development of his skyhook there. Hard to tell how often it was used for real, I mean it was basically a clandestine activity. We do have videos from some of the tests and the ones in the movies. The Air Force kept it in their back pocket until 1996 when they finally decided to let it go.

There is also an automobile racetrack here. The local Porsche club seems to be only ones who use it.

1 comment:

AndrewP said...

Dont forget the airport codes SUX, FUK, PEE, FAT, DAM, HEL.
Unhappy with SUX Sioux City was offered GAY, but by then SUX grew on them, memorable, and they had by then printed many "Fly SUX" tshirts.